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Update: Wife Releases Statement Regarding Husband's Arrest for Sexual Assaults/Kidnappings

By Tyler May, tmay@krcrtv.com
Published On: Jan 30 2013 04:05:51 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 30 2013 11:28:04 PM CST
Lonnie Keith mugshot photo
CHICO, Calif. -

After her husband, Lonnie Keith, 40, was arrested for allegedly kidnapping two women, raping one, and trying to rape the other, Keith's wife, Kari released a statement.

"My children and I are in shock, and are struggling to deal with this difficult situation," she said. "We will continue to appropriately cooperate with authorities, as this situation unfolds. We appreciate the outpouring of support for my children and I, from our friends and our community. During this ordeal, I have lost my husband and my children have lost their father. Our hearts go out to the victims in these cases as they deal with this difficult process as well."

Chico Police held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to release additional information about Lonnie Keith after he was arrested in connection with the series of kidnappings and sexual assaults of college-aged women near Chico State.  

Saturday morning, police arrested Keith, of Chico.

KRCR News Channel 7 confirmed that Keith worked as a physician assistant at Oroville Hospital and Enloe Medical Center.

During the early morning hours of Saturday, Jan. 26, the police department was conducting an operation in the south campus area attempting to locate the suspect or suspects sexually assaulting and kidnapping women in that area. 

These crimes had been occurring since the fall of 2011 but they are linking Keith to two of the incidents.  Police said a vehicle was stopped for a traffic infraction after it appeared to be "trolling" the area. 

The driver was contacted and interviewed.  Additionally, contents within the vehicle led the officers to believe this individual may be connected to some of the sexual assaults. 

Inside of his car, officials said they found handcuffs, zip ties, syringes, latex gloves and even blankets described to police by the two victims.

Police said Keith would use the blankets to create a cave-like effect in his car.

The suspect allegedly used the zip ties around his victims' legs and even put duct tape over their eyes.   They also say he drugged them.

"We do know the substances caused a sedating or drowsy effect with both our victims," says Lt. Mike O'Brien.

The detective bureau was called out and began running with the investigation.  As a result, driver Lonnie Keith was arrested. 

Search warrants have been served, and some additional investigative leads are still being followed up on.